Chamber Corner

Silver City-Grant County Chamber of Commerce President Scott Terry will provide a weekly column to the Beat, featuring items and announcements of interest to the community.

Many of us paused yesterday in remembrance of the tragedies of 9/11, and we also celebrated the acts of heroism and bravery by our first responders, courageous volunteers and even some of the passengers of those four planes. The unselfish acts of people concerned to help their fellow man in time of need was incredible. As President Bush later stated during a memorial ceremony at the Pentagon, “One of the worst days in America’s history saw some of the bravest acts in America’s history. We’ll always honor the heroes of 9/11.”

9/11 was a day when many ordinary people did extraordinary things. And for many of those people and their families… their lives would be changed forever.

We give a large shout out to the members of the Fort Bayard National Historic Landmark Preservation Society for the work they do producing the Fort Bayard Days celebration. Fort Bayard Days will be held September 21-23 at historic Fort Bayard. There will be a dinner with a presentation about Camp Cody, New Mexico. There will be reenactors, interpretive talks, live music, frontier baseball games, a military ball, Interdenominational Church Service and a potluck lunch. It's great to see the activities at Fort Bayard. If you want more information, you can call (575) 388-4777 or 388-4862.

Of course, the grounds and buildings look nice due in part to the efforts of the Village of Santa Clara, and the assistance they received this summer from groups coordinated by the Village. It's a shame the State of New Mexico does such a rotten job of preserving this wonderful historic area. Thank goodness for the Village of Santa Clara, the Preservation Society and some local folks that work hard to keep the building and grounds looking as nice as possible. Maybe, just maybe some of those people who are elected to part-time jobs in Santa Fe will decide to turn over Fort Bayard to the Village of Santa Clara during the upcoming legislative session. Who knows… maybe even some of our locally elected state representatives will actually work toward a path of saving Fort Bayard from neglect and ruin. We'll keep our fingers crossed.

I'm not certain why, but it seems that a good place to confront the guy from the Chamber of Commerce is during his visits to the post office. Those daily trips are sort of a social event. It's amazing all the people you can see in the mornings at the post office. It's a good thing there isn't coffee at the post office. Heck, the groups that meet at McDonald's and Arby's might move to a new location on Hudson Street.

In August, the Chamber of Commerce continues to work on a variety of projects. On August 18, the Silver City Grant County Chamber of Commerce and Walgreen's will host the 2018 Murray Ryan Invitational Golf Tournament at the University Course at Scott Park in Silver City. It's a fun tournament that the players enjoy due to chances to win lots of prizes and the specialty events that challenge each of the golfers. Before hitting the course, they can warm up with practice balls sponsored by Edward Jones – Kevin Thompson Financial Advisor. They the golfers are ready to try to win a new vehicle sponsored by Lawley Toyota during the Hole in One Contest. There's a Hole in One Putting Contest. As in years past, someone will win the longest drive contests and the closest to the pin contests for men and women sponsored by Sisbarro Superstore. A new contest to challenge even the most experienced golfers is a longest drive contest hitting giant marshmallows, sponsored by Allstate Insurance – Allen Townsend Agency. Each golfer gets breakfast sponsored by Wagner/Cat and lunch sponsored by Farmers Insurance – Ruth Seawolf Agency. Hole sponsors include Advanced Airlines, Rebecca Dow for House, First Savings Bank, Hidalgo Medical Services, and Revel. We are still accepting teams for this four-man scramble, and there are even a few sponsorship opportunities left. We even have one team flying in from California to play the Murray Ryan Tournament. On August 18, we're going to have fun at the golf course in Silver City.

Western New Mexico University has actually had four different names since it was founded in the Territory of New Mexico on February 11, 1893. It was originally the New Mexico Normal School. In the 1920's, the name changed to New Mexico State Teachers' College. It then became Western New Mexico College… and in 1963 the name was changed to Western New Mexico University. In 125 years, there have been only fifteen presidents of WNMU.

This makes one wonder if there was originally a New Mexico Abnormal School? Hmmm?

The answer to this question is usually different depending on who you ask. If you ask the folks at the local Pizza Hut, they will probably say "yes." Someone busted two of their windows Monday night. If you ask a family on North Grandview Road that lost thousands of dollars of property during a break-in of their home. They will probably say "yes." I know a family from Santa Clara that was burglarized… "yep" definitely. Yet, there are some people in our community, even within law enforcement and the justice system, that don't seem to believe crime is much of a problem.

Each week I receive at least one call from some person in a distant state who is thinking about moving here… but they have read in some publication or some internet site about how our crime statistics are higher than the national average. Some of the retirement sites talk about how the weather in New Mexico is excellent. They go on to mention that the cost of living is pretty good compared to other areas of the country. Then we, New Mexico, take a hit because our taxes seem higher than states in the South and mid-west. And then boom… crime places us at the top of the worst list. It nice to be #1 or #2… but not on the worst crime rate list.

If you didn’t make it to the 1st Annual Silver City Wine Festival, you missed out. We had a great time putting on the event, and it seemed like most of the people attending and working the event enjoyed it as well. But as usual, there are always a few people that just have to try to come up with something negative.

One person said it would have been better outdoors. Really? During the monsoon season? That person sipped too many wines. I also got a kick out of the person who said since he bought a bottle of wine, he should get some of his entrance fee back. Give me a break. You pay $20 to get in the door. You have from Noon to 6:00 p.m. to taste wine from eleven different wineries. Where else around here can you sip wine for six solid hours for only $20.00? Good grief…

We hope to bring a second annual Silver City Wine Festival back to Grant County next year. As soon as that decision is made, we will share with you the dates of the event.

Thinking of all the projects and programs the Chamber of Commerce is involved with, Independence Day has to be my favorite. The July 4th Celebration takes a lot of planning, there is a whole lot of work that has to be done, the hours are terrible… yet, the results are fantastic. This community comes alive when we celebrate patriotism. Each year there are always things that happen that will stick in my memory. The biggest thrill I get is seeing all the smiles. People, young and old, smiling as the parade goes by. A little boy smiling with buttery juice all around his mouth from eating the roasted corn on the cob. The folks smiling as they dance near the gazebo during the live music. And something that always moves me, when everyone in the park stops to watch the raising of the flag and the singing of the national anthem. These are the things that make all the effort worth-while. We at the Chamber of Commerce hope you are enjoying the Silver City celebration.

Live from Silver City

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